The holidays are meant for indulging, but sometimes you need a detox month after the best weeks of gluttony. Washing down your sugar with veggies and greens can help you stay on top of your game, and it can keep your jeans fitting and your mind clear. Detox dishes don’t have to be tasteless and boring. As long as you prepare them correctly, you can look forward to them just as much as you look forward to that second slice of pie or cheesecake. Check out these seven recipes that yield detox lunches and dinners that are good for your mind and your body — especially after the holiday season or a weekend splurge. Taking a break from the carbs and cake is never a bad thing.
1. Detox Vegetable Soup
Trust us when we say the best thing you can continue to feed your body after the holiday season is vegetables. Eat your holiday treats, but don’t forget about the health benefits of whole foods. Luckily, this vegetable soup from The Healthy Maven is one you can easily give into. It’s full of fiber thanks to the impressive number of vegetables on its ingredients list, and it will only take you 40 minutes to make. Everyone has time for this soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups of kale, stemmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
See recipe directions at The Healthy Maven.
2. Super Detox Salad
You knew this one was coming. Welcome back the greens with this super detox salad from Well Plated. Your body will thank you, and your taste buds will, too, as this salad comes loaded with flavor with an ingredients list full of farro, kale, cherries, chickpeas, walnuts, and artichokes. The salad gets dressed with a light lemon dressing, and the recipe serves 4 to 6, meaning this dish can last you for lunch all week long.
- ½ cup uncooked farro or quinoa
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for cooking the farro
- 1 large bunch kale leaves, destemmed and chopped
- 1 cup pitted cherries, halved
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and sliced into quarters if large
- ½ cup toasted walnut halves, roughly chopped
See recipe directions at Well Plated.
3. Detox Green Smoothie
Care to supplement your detox with a smoothie? Here’s a recipe from Running to the Kitchen you need to try. It yields a green smoothie made from kale, spinach, ginger, mint, and lemon. The refreshing smoothie packs a punch and is the best way to ensure you get your nutrients after the hectic holiday season. Have this smoothie as a snack or as a supplement to your lunch, and you’ll prepare to step out of the sugar fog.
- 1 stalk kale, stem removed preferably lacinto/tuscan kale
- 1 cup baby spinach/greens
- ½ lemon, seeds removed, skin on
- ½-inch piece peeled ginger
- 3-inch piece peeled cucumber
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 1 pear, peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig mint leaves
- 1 packet greens powder
- ½ cup water
See recipe directions at Running to the Kitchen.
4. Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Green Pesto
Your detox dishes don’t have to come in smoothie, soup, or salad form to rightfully fill you with nutrients and get you back on track. You can still enjoy your favorite comfort foods while committing to eating healthy in between social outings. The secret is knowing how to make your favorite foods healthier. Take this spaghetti squash with pesto, for example. Spaghetti and pesto is a comfort dish for many, and when you sub out the carbs and sub in the squash, you have a lunch or dinner no one needs to feel guilty about. Try this recipe from Oh My Veggies, and see if you can get on the spaghetti detox train. We promise after this dish you’ll be convinced that this is one train you’ll want to stay on.
- 1 extra-large spaghetti squash, seeded and halved
- Oil mister or cooking spray
- 1½ cups packed torn kale leaves
- ½ cup raw walnut pieces, divided
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
See recipe directions at Oh My Veggies.
5. Jumbo Chickpea Pancake
Up next is a savory pancake you can enjoy for any meal this week. This is a hot cake that you definitely won’t need syrup for, but you won’t even miss the sugar. This chickpea pancake from Oh She Glows is flavorful enough on its own, as it’s made from onions, peppers, chickpea flour, garlic powder, and seasonings. The pancake is filling and can be made fast with under 10 minutes of prep time, and you can easily pack it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe serves 1, but if you make a batch for the week, you can have easy and healthy detox snacks or meals to keep in the fridge.
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
- ½ cup chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo flour or besan)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- For serving: salsa, avocado, hummus, cashew cream (optional)
See recipe directions at Oh She Glows.
6. Winter Vegetable Quinoa Bowl
Here’s a salad that is packed with veggies but is greens-free. What the bowl lacks in greens, it makes up for in grains. Try this winter vegetable quinoa bowl from Goodness Green, and see what we mean. The detoxifying dish is full of an array of satisfying flavors and textures that come from the combination of Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and quinoa. The fiber-loaded and protein-packed bowl will fill you up without filling you out and will still leave room for the good stuff that include drinks and desserts. This recipe serves 2.
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 2 cups chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
- 1 red onion, chopped into segments
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼cup dried cranberries
- Herbs and lemon juice for dressing
See recipe directions at Goodness Green.
7. Chicken and Kale Detox Soup
Last but not least, this detox dish enlists meat. Just because you’re eating clean doesn’t mean you have to be meat-free. Enjoy this chicken and kale soup for lunch or dinner, and you can still feel good about what you’re eating in between treats. The recipe for this soup comes from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, and it is not only gluten-free, but also dairy-free and paleo-friendly. Into your soup will go chicken, kale, garlic, carrots, and celery, and after 15 minutes of simmering your ingredients in a stock pot on the stove, you’ll have a clean soup worth celebrating.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound organic boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 to 4 handfuls fresh kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
- 5 cups organic chicken stock
- Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley
See recipe directions at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.